• Patrick McAndrew

When Technology and Humans Become One

I stumbled across a video on YouTube where the Chairman and Founder of ecademy.com, Thomas Power, is discussing the problem with technology.  His main point, outside of the fact that we are spending more and more time on technology, is that “we will merge with technology.  The technology is going to embed itself inside us.”  We will have chips inside of us and we will be able to communicate and surf the internet without the use of a device.  As Old Ben would say, “He’s more machine now than man, twisted and evil.” Though, good ole’ Darth Vader wasn’t all evil, he did seem to be more machine.  Hence, the whole empire thing.

This isn’t to say that we will all end up as ruthless dictators in the galaxy.  But the concept isn’t so far- fetched.  As we become more one with technology, our ability to relate and connect with other human beings suffers.  We may talk to each other through technology, but that technology serves as a barrier that intercepts crucial communication signals when it comes to facial expression, tone of voice, and body language.

It has been proven that excessive technology and social media use inhibits our empathy, reduces our attention span, and pulls our focus away from important tasks.  Never has there ever been an easier way to procrastinate.  Steven Pressfield in his amazing book, The War of Art, calls this inability to be productive resistance.  Resistance is the enemy when it comes to getting meaningful work done.  I like to think of our religious devotion to technology as the master plan of resistance.  Resistance stands in the way of accomplishment and what better sidekick can tackle that than good old, technological distraction.

Things may only become more complicated when, as Thomas Power points out, technology becomes a part of us.  On many levels, technology has already become our right-hand man and many of us are unable to part with our devices, at least not for a long time.  We must always be connected.  But once it is actually embedded into our bodies, there is no way to separate ourselves from it.  It becomes a part of us and the difficulty to distinguish what is real and what is not will grow.

I do wonder what the general population’s view will be when it comes to putting a microchip into their bodies.  I’m led to believe that, at least for now, most of us wouldn’t fly with that.  But with where our world is going, slowly but surely, some may begin to be peachy-keen to the idea, especially if there seems to be some amazing. irresistible benefit to doing such a thing.

What would our ancestors say about our reliance on technology now?  Would they find it fascinating?  Ridiculous?  A little bit of both?  While I do believe most would be amazed at the technological innovation (because who isn’t?), many would likely frown in disappointment.  “Why, how come they aren’t talking to each other on their date?  Why does everyone have a screen out at the dinner table?  Don’t they just want to enjoy the scenery?”

Over the past year, there has been a lot of awareness spreading when it comes to excessive technology use and social media addiction.  My hope is that future technologies will be created with the human in mind instead of profit or technological possibility.  If not, it won’t be long until technology is truly within us, controlling more of our thoughts and actions than we realize.  Sure, we may be able to do really cool things, but when the pizzazz wears off, will we be left empty?

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